Delta Air Lines will begin nonstop flights between the United States and Mumbai, India, next year, linking the U.S. with one of its strongest trading partners.
The announcement follows agreements between the U.S. and the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to address the issue of government subsidies provided to state-owned carriers in those nations. The framework created by the agreement allows Delta to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidized Middle Eastern airlines.
This move will mark a return to India for Delta, which was forced to exit the market after subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable.
"It is exciting to be able to announce Delta's return to India from the U.S. as part of our vision to expand Delta's reach internationally," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. "We are thankful to the president for taking real action to enforce our Open Skies trade deals, which made this new service possible. We are looking forward to providing customers in the U.S. and India with Delta's famously reliable, customer-focused service operated by the best employees in the industry."
The service is subject to government approval; full schedule details will be announced later this year.
Delta also intends to expand its existing codeshare relationship with partner Jet Airways to provide seamless connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.